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what's in a name?

inspiration for bikeface

Did you know that that the term ‘bikeface’ or ‘bicycle face’ actually dates back to the 19th century? Doctors were trying to put women off cycling by any means necessary. Bicycles were seen as an aid to feminism as they allowed women to become independently mobile for the first time. As more women began to cycle, they campaigned to reduce traditional Victorian restrictions on clothing, so they could cycle more comfortably.

Obviously something had to be done! In an attempt to dissuade women from cycling, a horrifying medical condition was created: bicycle face.

An 1895 edition of Literary Digest noted that ‘over-exertion, the upright position on the wheel and the unconscious effort to maintain one’s balance tend to produce a wearied and exhausted ‘bicycle face’.’ Other symptoms included bulging eyes, dark shadows on the face and a hard, clenched jaw.

Oh how far we’ve come! We have a lot to thank those early female cycling pioneers for. Our ironic use of the term bikeface is a cheeky riposte to those who tried to stand in the way, and a tribute to those early pioneers.

Have fun out there, wherever the day takes you.


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